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Trump just signed a prime directive on the Space Force. Now it’s up to Congress to make it so
President Donald Trump has formally outlined how his administration plans to stand up the Space Force as the sixth U.S. military service – if Congress approves.
On Tuesday, Trump signed a directive that calls for the Defense Department to submit a proposal to Congress that would make Space Force fall under Department of the Air Force, a senior administration official said.
If Congress approves the creating of the new military branch, Space Force would be led by a military chief of staff, who would also be a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and a civilian Undersecretary of the Air Force for Space, the senior administration official said.
Eventually, Space Force would come under the purview of an independent military department for space.Space Force would be made up of the service members and Defense Department civilians from all of the military branches who are already supporting space operations, the official said. It would also create career tracks for uniformed and civilian space personnel.
The Defense Department has no plans to ask Congress to include NASA or any other non-military space organizations into Space Force, the official said.
One unresolved question is how much Space Force will cost. The Defense Department plans to ask for less than $100 million for the military branch as part of the fiscal 2020 budget, senior administration officials said on Tuesday. The total cost could be less than $5 billion, then-Deputy Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan told reporters in November.
"Within the coming weeks we will submit our legislative proposal to Congress to authorize the establishment of the Space Force as the sixth branch of the armed forces," Pentagon spokesman Charles Summers said on Tuesday.
Separately, the U.S. military has already taken steps to create a new combatant command dedicated exclusively to space. Currently, space operations are overseen by U.S. Strategic Command, which is also responsible for the U.S. military's nuclear mission.
Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan said in January that he has someone in mind to lead Space Command but he did not say who that person was.
Establishing Space Command is, "The most important step we take going forward – and the one we need to do the quickest," Air Force Gen. David Goldfein said on Tuesday before Trump signed the directive.
"We as service chiefs know how to organize, train, equip, and present ready forces to a combatant commander," Goldfein said at the liberal Brookings Institution think tank in Washington, D.C. "I'll use SOCOM [Special Operations Command] as an example: I know how to take airmen, give them the training they need, present them to the SOCOM commander, and have Gen. [Raymond] Thomas give them a higher level of training, give them some specific equipment, and he fights them in a global campaign."
"I expect the exact same model for the U.S. Space Command commander," he continued. "The difference is that in special operations command, all the services have rather robust elements that they offer to the combatant commander. When it comes to Space Command as the supported commander, upwards of 80 to 90 % of the force that we'll present will be airmen."
WATCH NEXT: Here Comes The Space Force?
WASHINGTON/KABUL (Reuters) - The United States on Tuesday recovered the remains of individuals from a U.S. military aircraft that crashed in Afghanistan and was in the process of confirming their identities, U.S. and Afghan officials told Reuters on Tuesday.
On Monday, the U.S. military said an E-11A aircraft had crashed in the province of Ghazni, but disputed claims by the Taliban militant group that they brought it down.
The US government is letting Marine veteran Austin Tice languish in a Syrian prison, according to his mother
The mother of Marine veteran Austin Tice told reporters on Monday that a top U.S. official is refusing to give permission for a meeting with the Syrian government to negotiate the release of her son, who went missing near Damascus in 2012.
"Apparently, somewhere in the chain, there is a senior U.S. government official who is hesitating or stalling," Debra Tice reportedly said at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.
Debra Tice said she is not certain who this senior official is. She also praised those in government who are working to get her son back.
A retired Navy SEAL whose war crimes trial made international news has launched a video attack on former SEAL teammates who accused him of murder, shooting civilians and who testified against him at his San Diego court-martial in June.
In a three-minute video posted to his Facebook page and Instagram account Monday, retired Chief Special Operator Edward Gallagher, 40, referred to some members of his former troops as "cowards" and highlighted names, photos and — for those still on active duty — their duty status and current units, something former SEALs say places those men — and the Navy's mission — in jeopardy.
The Air Force's top general says one of the designers of the ride-sharing app Uber is helping the branch build a new data-sharing network that the Air Force hopes will help service branches work together to detect and destroy targets.
The network, which the Air Force is calling the advanced battle management system (ABMS), would function a bit like the artificial intelligence construct Cortana from Halo, who identifies enemy ships and the nearest assets to destroy them at machine speed, so all the fleshy humans need to do is give a nod of approval before resuming their pipe-smoking.
An F-15 is rocking a WWII paint job to honor a B-17 pilot who gave his life to save a wounded crewman
An F-15C Eagle is sporting a badass World War II-era paint job in honor of a fallen bomber pilot who gave everything to ensure his men survived a deadly battle.